4.12.2010

Nicole's New Job

This past week was my first full week at my new job as part-time bookkeeper for the US office of KarmelSonix.  My journey from full-time to part-time work has been amazing - miraculous even! - and I wanted to share the story with those of you who have not heard it yet.  WARNING: This story is a bit lengthy. :)

Back in June 2009, I knew I wanted to stop working full-time soon.  Kaitlyn would be starting kindergarten in August, which would put her in school for only 3 hours per day.  Aside from the cost of after-school care, I didn't want to keep having other people watch my girl.  From the time I started working for Lewis Retail Centers in August 2006, Kaitlyn had been in preschool/daycare from 7:30am until 5:30pm Monday through Friday.  That's 10 hours each day!!  I hated to face that fact and actually felt quite a bit of guilt about it.

So with kindergarten rolling around, I knew something had to change but didn't know how we could work it out financially - or even practically.  Who would hire me for only 3 hours per day?  And if I couldn't get work outside the home, I would have to do something from home... and jobs were scarce as it was.  But I felt the Lord urging me to trust in Him and let Him lead.  I started responding to Craigslist ads for telecommuting (work from home) jobs and put a message out on Facebook to my friends, letting them know I was looking for work I could do from home.

An acquaintance from my church contacted me with a job offer shortly thereafter.  She had been telecommuting for a company that was building a 1-800-DENTIST type of website.  My friend was going to go on maternity leave and thought I could replace her.  I would be assisting the assistant to the Marketing Director.  I would be responsible for admin work, communication with dentists, internet research, and some website stuff - all things I could do with no problem.  So I spoke with the assistant and she agreed to give me the amount of pay I needed.  I was hired!  They pay wasn't great, but it was the minimum amount I figured we could get by on.  The job required 5 hours of work per day, but I could do it all from home.  I was excited, yet terrified.  I kept thinking, Lord, this is NUTS!  I was going to quit a secure, full-time, well-paying job to work part-time from home where my job security was tenuous and my pay was barely a fraction of what Lewis was paying me.

But Micah and I knew what our priorities were: Kaitlyn, getting pregnant again, and keeping my sanity. We also were very aware of the Lord speaking - He was opening doors and lighting the way and I knew it would be foolish not to follow.  

I gave my two-weeks' notice at Lewis and started my new job in July 2009.  It worked out fine but I realized how difficult it was to have a 6-year-old at home while I'm trying to work.  My job required me to be at the computer for 5 hours and Kaitlyn needed my attention.  I began to wonder if I had made a mistake.

Surprisingly, though, Lewis called me and offered me a job again - they wanted to work around my availability.  What?!  Again I say, this is NUTS!  Part-time work at the Lewis corporate office was unprecedented!  But I can say with conviction that the Lord provides and makes a way where there seems to be no way.  I was allowed to come back to Lewis working only 3 hours per day (the time Kait was at school) with any school holidays off.  I kept my same hourly rate and we were able to keep our monthly discount on our apartment (a perk for Lewis employees who live in Lewis-owned apartment complexes).  I started at Lewis again the same day Kaitlyn started kindergarten, August 10.

This new position at Lewis came with a stipulation, though.  It was temporary; my boss could only guarantee my position through the end of the December.  Of course, this would normally cause me a whole lot of anxiety and freaking out... but the Lord gave me an amazing peace over the situation.  When people asked what we would do after December, I just shrugged my shoulders and said, "I don't know."  The Lord protects, He provides, and He is faithful.  I knew that and was hanging onto it.

When December rolled around, my "contract" was extended and I was permitted to stay at Lewis until the end of March 2010.  This was great news, but now there was more to consider.  I was pregnant and summer break was going to begin at the end of May, which would mean Kaitlyn would no longer be occupied at school during the 3 hours I was working.  My new goal was to get my Lewis job extended through the end of May and then, once again, we'd have to rely on the Lord to provide something, somehow, somewhere.

During the winter season, Micah and I were attending a growth group on Thursdays.  At one of our meetings, I shared my prayer request and our situation.  One of the guys in our growth group (his name is Micah too) works for KarmelSonix, which is owned by another gentleman at our church named Larry.  I was unaware of this, but one day I got a message from Larry's wife saying that she heard I was looking for work and that KarmelSonix needed a bookkeeper.  I responded enthusiastically and sent an email and my resume to Larry.  His response blew me away.  He was OK with the pay rate I was asking for, he was willing to work around my hours of availability, and he even had no problem with me bringing Kaitlyn (or later, the new baby) to work with me.  I know....This is NUTS!!!

I still get so overwhelmed thinking about how incredible this story is... How undeniable it is that God's hand was in it.  The timing of each and every step was perfect.  All throughout my transition from one job to another, we never struggled financially - there was always a steady stream of income coming in from somewhere.  God used people around me to make things happen and it was clear that it was His doing, not my own.

So a few weeks ago, I went to my boss at Lewis and told her that I didn't need the extension through May because I had this new job offer.  Even while quitting, I was amazed.  My boss said that whenever I am ready to work full-time again - even if it's 3 years down the road - to call her.  She gave me a hug, wished me well, and sent me on my way with a lovely farewell gift and some cash.  You'd think I'd get used to the Lord knocking my socks off, but I am still in awe.

It's now April and I've just begun week 2 of my new position at KarmelSonix.  I love this job.  Larry and Micah are amazing guys to work with.  I enjoy my duties as bookkeeper.  I respect the company, its mission, & product line of medical devices. 

The company, based in Israel, is Jewish so there was a ceremony recently to affix a mezuzah to the doorpost of our office suite.  The mezuzah serves as a reminder of God's presence and duty to fulfill His commandments.  It is a small wooden case that holds parchment on which is written Scripture: Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Deuteronomy 11:13-21.  The ceremony happened to be held during Passover and two Jewish rabbis came out to lead the ceremony.  The CEO of KarmelSonix and his wife, both from Israel, were also in attendance.  We even had the mayor of Rancho Cucamonga there!  After the mezuzah was affixed, we had fellowship and shared matzah, kosher grape juice, and fresh fruit.  It was a wonderful experience.

So here I am...perhaps at the end of my job-transitioning journey.  I am satisfied and thankful, but am always ready to move again if the Lord call me to do so.  It's a good lesson to learn, don't you think?  Go when He says go and stay put when He says to stay put.  (Reminds me of God's call to Abraham in Genesis 12.)  Maybe the moral of the story should be, Who says God can't work through Facebook?  He can, for sure, but I think the real bottom line is this:  You will NEVER be disappointed with your life if you allow Christ to lead you.  His will is perfect, His ways are best, and His plan is better than anything you could have ever come up with on your own.  God is good...all the time!

4 comment(s):

Ryan, Jane, Nate and Zach said...

That Larry is a pretty cool guy!

Kendrew said...

Amen to that! God has worked through Facebook quite a bit in my life as well... never underestimate!

scarolan said...

I think you should also attribute some of your ability to the great opportunities that you've been provided... don't sell yourself short!

Jeneva said...

Oh Nicole....that's so amazing. God is truly amazing. He gives us everything we need when we just trust in Him. That made me cry. With joy of course for the way God is working in your life. Awesome. To God be the glory!